Noughts & Crosses review by Charlie Ayers

Our third-year student reviewer Charlie Ayers gives her thoughts on Noughts & Crosses...

Personally I haven't read the Malorie Blackman novel which this time was wonderfully adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz and, for once, I was grateful for my innocence. I found myself completely caught up in the twists and turns of this performance, which covers the important themes of race, class and mental health, all through a society in which a white underclass, the Noughts, is pitted against a ruling black majority, the Crosses.

Throughout the story we watch the growing friendship, across the race and class divide, between 16-year-old Callum and 14-year-old Sephy. As the relationship matures, the differences between the friends become imperative. Sephy is beaten up by her schoolmates for talking with the "Blankers", as they are branded through the play. The story further follows Callum in his discovery of the truth about his sister, and later the sad truth of his father and brother.

The story was caringly shown by very talented leads, Heather Agyepong and Billy Harris. Their relationship grows and stretches through a multitude of scenes as the other actor’s multi-role the scenes around them.

This play was also highlighted by the use of lighting and sound. A simple but extremely tasteful, simple and effective use of lighting in order to signify various scenes. As well as this the slight use of physical theatre made even the smallest scene changes interesting.

I would highly recommend seeing this performance it is definitely needed to remind us that equality is still a significant issue, yet manages to do it through an accessible way.

Don’t miss it! Now at Derby Theatre.


Thank you to Charlie for this brilliant review.

Noughts & Crosses is now showing until the 16 February.